Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami

Not long after I wrote my post last night, I heard the first news of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The news was so incredible that I wondered if I should post to my blog again, but I thought I'd wait and see what developed.

Of course, by now we're all seeing what's developing, and it's seriously scary. Hubby and I just watched the news and we learned that a quarter of Japan has suffered, and it's not over yet. Can you imagine? And Japan is a nation whose buildings are meant to withstand earthquakes!

I grew up in San Jose, and we had tons of earthquakes. For several years, I worked on the 13th and 14th floors of a downtown office building that had been built to ride out earthquakes, but that knowledge didn't make it any easier to remain calm up there, looking out over the valley floor and surrounding hills as the building swayed back and forth each time a large-ish earthquake struck. I've always thought that one of the biggest attributes of Sacramento is its lack of earthquakes; in fact, as we were watching the news tonight, I told Hubby that I'm quite grateful I live and work in single-story buildings. Of course, that's no guarantee that an earthquake will never hit or that we'll be safe if it does, but it's all relative; at least it FEELS safer.

I don't recall hearing much about tsunamis when I was a kid, even though I lived only a half hour or so inland. One summer, though, my family was camped in a trailer at the beach when word came in the middle of the night of an earthquake in Alaska, and the beach campers were evacuated, cutting our vacation short. Looking back, I think that must have been the summer after the March 1964 earthquake in Alaska that resulted in a tsunami that devastated Crescent City--a city that has again been hit hard by this new tsunami. Santa Cruz, too, took a big hit this time--and Santa Cruz is only a few miles north of that beach we were evacuated from when I was a kid.

Of course, when I was a kid and we were evacuated from the beach in the middle of the night, it was simply another adventure to us. Except for the fact that we ended up with two days less to spend on the beach, it would have been wonderfully exciting. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of kids in Japan--and Crescent City, Hawaii, and Santa Cruz--who aren't finding this experience at all wonderful or exciting; not in a good way. And I hope that for many, the worst that has happened is a change in plans for a little while, but I'm sadly certain that it's much, much more than that for so many more.

8 comments:

AMKreations said...

I was totally shocked to see the news...I've been thinking of them and praying since. So much devastation. Thankfully they were more prepared than most places...at least for the earthquake, but still, wow. =(

Orcsmom said...

Me and Cookie are doing the Shop Hop and were unable to go to San Mateo yesterday due to the traffic from evacuations, but we have been to 19 out of 22 stores, not too bad for 2 1/2 days of fun!! Have a great time in Chico and Paradise!!

Hugs!!

Pam

Lee Ann said...

Japan IS built to withstand earthquakes. What is more devastating than earthquakes is Tsunamis, which is where the vast majority of the damages (and lost of life) in Japan comes from. It's terrible and so sad.

Haiti suffered far more because they were not prepared to withstand earthquakes let along Tsunamis.

Both were terrible, terrible tragedies as a result of the forces of Nature being unleashed.

My heart goes out to Japan.

Theresa said...

I grew up in Taiwan which is also a country that has lots of earthquakes, we also had experienced one devastating quake a few years ago. But that Japan is going through right now is even more devasting, and I really feel for them. I truly hope their damage would come to an end.

JoAnne said...

Living here in Hawaii, we had quite a night. The earthquake occurred at 8pm our time and by 10 we were under a tsunami warning. We didn't really sleep that night. There has been a lot of damage here in the islands, particularly on the Big Island. Several homes were swept away. Of course, it is all overshadowed by what is happening in Japan. It is tragic. There are a lot of visitors here who cannot get home and cannot get through to loved ones to know if they are alright. My heart goes out to them, as well.

Kim West said...

My friend JoAnne had it right! I was woken up by my neighbor who knew I normally go to bed by 9 and that my husband is deployed. She wanted to make sure I knew what was happening so that I could take appropriate steps. I had just gotten to sleep and then she called. I am grateful to her because where I live I don't hear the sirens very well unless the windows are open (and that is a rare occurence. I know friends that spent the night at parking lots.
This is the second tsunami we have had in just over a year.
My heart goes out to those in Japan and those who have family in Japan.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Is the U-Dock in Santa Cruz the ones with all the restaurants? Can't seem to think of another dock there.

Thinking of Japan, and watching the horrific coverage. My heart goes out to them.

quiltmom said...

Kim,
I am greatly saddened by all the footage that is coming out of Japan just now.

Do you know Tanya's blog- Taniwa- She lives in Nikko Japan which is about 200 miles from where the major earthquake struck. You can find her blog here:
http://tttl1998.blogspot.com/
Here first hand account is very sobering to read. In spite of it all she seems pretty positive about the situation. It must be very frightening to all who live there.

Your green wagon story is fun- how fun to go off shopping with your quilting friends.

Regards,
Anna